Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Idli Sambhar Chutney–A South Indian breakfast combo

Idli sambhar chutney

A complete South Indian breakfast – Idli sambhar and chutney. As a kid I always preferred dosas to idlis and story has changed over the years when I got to taste the real magical power of this combination. I am sure that this is one favorite breakfast combos to many out there and here is my take on its preparation. The sambar recipe given here is passed to me by Asha aunty and it has become a favorite to us in no time. It is very different in its preparation and the real secret of its taste is that magical  “SAMBHAR POWDER” . Enjoy!!!

For soft idlis

Idli rice 3 cups
Urad dal 1 cup
Cooked rice ½ cup (I always use parboiled rice), alternately you can use aval or poha
Fenugreek seeds ¼ tsp
Salt as needed


Wash and soak idli rice + fenugreek seeds and urad dal separately for at least 8 hours.

Grind the soaked idli rice along with cooked rice in 2-3 batches to a fine paste. Transfer to a bowl and do the same with urad dal and mix with the rice batter. Combine both the batter well and keep covered in a warm place to ferment for at least 16 hours. The batter should have a thick consistency.

When you are ready to make idli, add required salt and pour spoonful of the batter to greased idli moulds and steam cook for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the moulds and let it sit for 2 minutes before unmoulding. Enjoy hot soft idlis with coconut chutney or sambhar. Refrigerate leftover batter and this will be good for making idlis for 2 days. After that the idlis may not be soft as the fermentation activity decreases due to refrigeration.


Sambhar (Serves 5)


Toor dal 1 cup
Onion 2 medium, cut to big chunks
Green chilly 1, cut to chunks
Asafetida a pinch

Wash and soak the toor dal along with onions, green chilly and asafetida in enough water to cook the dal for at least 30 minutes. After that cook the toor dal to 2 whistles and allow the pressure to release by itself.

Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
Red chilly powder 1 tsp
Potato 1 no, peeled and cubed
Carrot 1 big, cubed 
Ivy gourd/Kovakka 2 –3 cut to cubes
Eggplant/ Vazhuthananga 1 no, cubed

*You can add any kind of vegetables to your choice at this stage.

Open the lid and add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilly powder. Mix well and add potato, carrot, ivy gourd and eggplant. Cook this to 1 whistle and allow the pressure to release by itself.

Drumsticks 4-5, halved
Tomato 1 no, cut to quarters
Okra/Vendakka 1 cup, cut to ½ inch pieces
Tamarind a lemon size, soaked in 1 cup water
Coriander powder 3 Heaping TBSP
Sambhar powder 1 TBSP (recipe follows)
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Dry red chilly 4 nos
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Coriander leaves a handful

Open lid and give a mix, add drumsticks, coriander leaves, tamarind juice and bring this to a boil. Then add vendakka (okra), salt and allow this to come to a boil. Now add the tomatoes and 1 cup water along with red chilly powder, coriander powder, sambar powder. Mix well and allow to boil. Switch off flame and temper with mustard seeds, dry red chilly and curry leaves.


Recipe for Special Sambhar powder

Fenugreek seeds 1 cup
Mustard seeds 1 cup
Asafetida 1 TBSP
Curry leaves a handful

Dry roast fenugreek seeds with asafetida and curry leaves and allow to cool. Dry roast mustard seeds separately and set aside to cool. Once completely cooled, powder the above ingredients to a fine powder and store in an air tight container.

Coconut chutney (Serves 5)

Coconut chutney

Grated coconut 1 cup
Shallots 2 nos, chopped
Roasted chana dal 2 tsp
Green chilly 2-3 nos
Ginger 1 tsp, chopped
Mustard seeds ½ tsp
Dry red chilly 2 nos
Curry leaves
Salt as needed
Oil 1 tsp


Grind together, coconut, shallots, chana dal, green chilly, ginger and salt to a smooth paste adding little water at a time. Transfer this to a bowl and add water to make the consistency you need, I always add ½ to ¾ cup water. Adjust salt. Now in a pan add oil and splutter mustard seeds along with dry red chilly. Add curry leaves and switch off flame and immediately add the chutney. MIX WELL and enjoy with idli.

Idli sambhar chutney



  1. My fav south indian breakfast .... infact I love all the south indian breakfast :) The idlis look so soft and the sambar look perfect. Wish I could save some for tomm breakfast :)

    Beautiful Clicks !



  2. OMG...my all time favorite...I want some!!:)

  3. Perfect idly.. I never get my idlis this perfect...

  4. one doubt.Can we use this idli flour for a few days,if we r grinding cooked rice along with other ingredients...?

  5. HI Rakhee..

    Yes this batter stays good for 2-3 days to make idlis if properly refrigerated. After that i usually make dosas with leftover batter as the fermentation activity might have gone done due to prolonged refrigeration.

    Hope this helps..


  6. Wow...mouthwatering and delicious...awesome click..

  7. My fav anytime!!! Wanna join you for breakfast

  8. Suji, This is my all time fav breakfast, not only breakfast but also for my dinner ..U r making me damn hungry now..I also use the same ratio with aval..

  9. nice homely breakfast.i love this combination of sambar ,chutney and idli, delicious..

  10. Wow fluffy perfect idlis with best apt sidedishes...nothing can beat the combo

  11. That's a great looking combo of fluffy idlis with chutney and sambar...:)lovely clicks too!!



  12. My favorite breakfast....looks yummy

  13. Nalla super-soft idlis..Adipoli pics, Suji..

  14. OMG... Really wonderful presentation.. looks lovely and yummy.. thanks for sharing dear.. Awesome job !!
    Indian Cuisine

  15. Who can resist this combo , i'm drooling

  16. I just want to grab that plate and eat it right away ...yum

  17. wow...
    lovely spread dear...
    nothing can beat this delicious combo :)
    nice clicks...

  18. wow really lovely.......feels like grabbing thjt plate........

  19. wow dear....i want to have it straight...verynice clicks....idli,sambhar and chutney must not have looked better than this

  20. sho inganey oru bf kazhichittu its been ages..i am having coffee now n im wishing so badly tht i had this meal waiting fr me at the table..sigh! the 1st pic is beautiful

  21. Nice combo and my favorite breakfast

  22. Super soft and fluffy idlies marvellous,wonderful platter, i'll happily have it anytime..

  23. Suji, ravile eneettapozhe athyam nokkunathu itha....
    enikku contorl pokunnu kto..athra perfect sadanangal!!!!
    ithonnu fedex cheythal valiya upakaram ayirunnu...
    Drool drool!!!

  24. Adipoli aayitundu,fluffy and perfect..healthy and perfect breakfast.

  25. wow ..i love ur clicks..and a perfect post..luv u guys!

  26. Idlis looks so soft, white and perfect..love the platter of food..simply delicious!

  27. Hey..I am back after a long time.This idly is making me really hungry,but I have grinded for idly today after a looooong time.Nale kahikam allo ennu ashwasam undu..ur idli looks super !!

  28. I m ready to have those for breakfast dear...my tummy is rumbling now...:PPP
    Tasty Appetite
    Event: Letz Relishh Ice Creams

  29. wow...idli nalla perfectum softayittum erikkunnu....
    photoende karyam pratheekichu parayukem venda...loved those clicks , nyan eppom choru kazhichathe ulllu..enikku pinnem veshakkunnu...:)

  30. mummy! sob sob! wish i had this for bf... Suji fantastic way to kill us....wonderful idli!

  31. Hi Suji,
    How r u doing ? thanks for ur help regarding my issue ...
    yummy south indian breakfast my fav ... as usual pics really look great Suji

  32. I liked your blog very much. Idli with chutney and sambar is my all time favourite. Looks so soft, yummy, delicious and tempting. Wonderful presentation.
    You are welcome at my blogs.

  33. so tempting cmbo of breakfast want to eat whole pic are super

  34. ente suji..super soft idli, kidulam sambar and taste ullu chutney,kandittu sahikanillalo eeshwara..entha oru taste alle...:)


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